By serendipity I checked the usage of the CoAP via Shodan and to my surprise there is a extreme inbalance between its usage in eastern European countries/China/Russia and the rest of the world, e.g. USA ~300 to Russia ~300000.

Is there an explanation for this apparent result or is there indeed some trend in IoT that differs regionally?


Thank you for editing @Sean Houlihane.

Due the current answers I checked the results again and yes there is some correlation with mobile/phone service providers. China Mobile Guangdong, Rostelecom, China Mobile Shandong are among the top organizations.

Because of the open nature of the question I tend to accept Achims answers, since it gives a hint towards local trends and differences.

Nevertheless thank you all for the open discussion, since topic could have also been seen as totally off topic.

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure, if this is a answer or should be a comment, but though I don't have enough reputation to comment ...

End of last year there have been some news about the (mis?) usage of CoAP.

Message in the IETF core-mailing-list

Article in zdnet

The article mentions: "Rand suggests the reason for this explosion is CoAP's use as part of QLC Chain (formerly known as QLink), a project that aims build a decentralized blockchain-based mobile network using WiFi nodes available across China."

Are my results wrong or is there indeed some trend in IoT that differs regionally?

So that may depend on the rollout of such devices, which may be considered to be "local phenomenon".

  • This is an answer, yes. I clarified the question slightly, but I don't think I changed it's intent with this edit. Commented Sep 19, 2019 at 8:26
  • Using e.g. "CoAP Resources /v1" as search criteria discovers e.g. "thingsboards" and give an other impression. Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 5:05

In addition to Achim's comment (and with the same uncertainty as to whether that'd be an answer or a comment), you may want to consider the following:

A single installation rolling out, MQTT, would show up as a single (or a small number of) broker(s), while CoAP uses direct connections and thus, usually in some setups, has each node discoverable individually. A single CoAP roll-out by, say, an internet provider that uses CoAP for managing their modems, could thus easily show up as 100.000s of instances. Thus, the 300k devices in Russia or China could plausibly stem from a handful of installations, where no such large installations have happened in the USA, without any statistical significance.

This is not to say that there is no imbalance between CoAP adoption in the countries, only that those vast reported numbers may not necessarily support that conclusion.

  • 1
    I wouldn't say, that each node is usually discoverable individually. Many nodes are behind NATs and so are usually not discoverable. Commented Sep 20, 2019 at 5:03

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